Banks offer hard cash and holidays to bribe customers to switch current accounts – for a limited time only…
High street banks are offering increasingly generous bribes to customers prepared to switch their current accounts.
This week saw NatWest launch a limited time deal offering £150 to new and existing customers switching their main bank account to the bank until 15 February 2019.
Earlier this month, HSBC announced it would offer those switching their current account to the bank a choice of luxury holidays, £150 or £75 cash depending on what account you switch to.
The latest offers from the high street names will likely woo some customers, with a generous range of perks available
It follows increasing pressure on big banks to keep customer numbers up after a number of challenger banks launched rival current accounts and wooed millions of – typically younger – customers away.
Last month even saw challenger bank Monzo crowned the best bank for customer service by consumer group, Which?.
The latest carrots on offer from high street names will likely reel in some customers, with a generous range of perks available. This is Money takes a look at what’s on offer.
NatWest offers £150 cash
Switchers to the NatWest Reward current account will receive £150 when they open an account and can also benefit from two per cent rewards on household bills with an average of £83 received each year.
According to the bank’s analysis, switchers to the NatWest Reward account therefore could receive more than £230 within the first year of switching accounts.
Customers switching to NatWest’s Reward Silver, Platinum or Black accounts also benefit from no foreign purchase fees on debit card purchases made outside of the UK, up to 40 per cent off cinema tickets and, for Reward Platinum and Black customers, personal car breakdown cover which will cover customers both for vehicles they own and any vehicle they are travelling in.
This is in addition to mobile phone and travel cover.
To qualify, switchers are required to use the Current Account Switch Service, close their existing account with their current provider and transfer their main current account to NatWest. Customers will then receive the payment by 19 April 2019.
You’ll need to pay a minimum of £1,500 per month into the account and customers need to log in either online or through the mobile app before 22 March 2019.
HSBC looks to woo customers with luxury travel
New customers moving to HSBC meanwhile, now have the choice of three offers when switching their current account to HSBC using the current account switch service.
Those opening a HSBC Premier bank account can pick the luxury stay offer which offers a night away at a choice of 50 luxury hotels, linked experiences and a family getaway at a range of Merlin hotels, including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Legoland – a deal valued at £330 on average.
There are hurdles to get over to qualify though – you’ll need £50,000 in savings or investments with HSBC in the UK or an individual annual income of at least £75,000 and one of the following products with HSBC in the UK: a mortgage, investment, life insurance or protection product.
The HSBC Advance bank account offer means customers receive £150 in cash paid into the opened account within 30 days of switching. To be eligible for HSBC Advance, customers will need to pay in a minimum of £1,750 per month or £10,500 over six months.
The everyday HSBC bank account offers £75 in cash paid into the opened account within 30 days of switching and to qualify, customers need to pay in a minimum £500 a month or £3,000 over six months.
Switching bank accounts is simple to do now through the Current Account Switch Service
How to switch current accounts
Switching bank accounts is simple to do through the Current Account Switch Service, which has been running for more than five years.
Regular payments, including direct debits and standing orders, will be automatically transferred to the newly opened account within seven days.
Any inconvenience will be compensated and should any payments be accidentally made to your old account they will be automatically redirected to your new account for the first 36 months.
Direct debits and standing orders are tracked for 13 months to make sure nothing goes astray.
If you’re considering a switch, take five minutes to read our regularly updated review of the best current accounts on the market now.
And if you’re thinking of ditching the high street banks in favour of one of the new breed of mobile bank apps, take a look at This is Money’s in-depth review of how the challenger current accounts stack up.
THIS IS MONEY’S FIVE OF THE BEST CURRENT ACCOUNTS